THE REAL ME

"We need people to be close with. Not only in proximity but in position. We need people we have knighted with the authority to push us away from failure and toward success, even when it’s not what we initially think we want or need."

God did not intend for you or me to walk life alone. 

Yet, we do it so often.

We need people to be close with. Not only in proximity but in position. We need people we have knighted with the authority to push us away from failure and toward success, even when it’s not what we initially think we want or need. 

A while back, I found myself in a place where I was blocking people from the “real me”. I isolated myself and kept my thoughts, struggles, and fears far from the ears of other people. I had trust issues that made me feel like I didn’t have anyone I could be 100% real with. And I hated it.

I always felt trapped. I wanted a small tight-knit circle of friends but where do you start? How can you manufacture something so organic?

I got to a point where my desire to be a more Godly and healthier person outweighed my desire for a completely confidential lifestyle. So, I begin trying to connect with a few guys at my Church and “vetted” them. I listened closely as they spoke with others – were they trustworthy? Caring? Honest? Humble? What did other people say about them? Would they have my best interests at heart if I trusted them with the real me? As I watched and waited, my confidence grew and I shared what was beneath my surface. 

Adding transparency and accountability into my life gifted me with a freedom I’ve never experienced before. While it comes with a level of risk, the benefits of having someone in my corner to encourage and challenge me outweighs that risk. I can call those in my circle at 2:00 AM if I need someone to talk and they won’t be mad – and I’d do the same for them. I can share difficult things with them and they’ll keep it confidential – and I’d do the same for them. I can share my successes with them and they’ll rejoice – and I’d do the same for them. It’s all mutual love and respect.

I believe life-long friendships have become forged because we all chose to share in, not only transparency and availability but also in accountability. We have tactically given each other the authority to call each other out when we’re out of line. This is always done in a loving, non-condemning way. No topic of conversation is off-limits: marriage, sex, parenting, our careers, our faith, our attitudes, etc. We’ve learned to not be offended by the “call outs” because they’re really “call-ups,” or a call to a higher level of living. I’m grateful I have others who love me enough to slap me back to reality. 

You NEED people in your life who will both support and push you. As Christians, we’re encouraged to be in fellowship with both Him AND others.

Galatians 6:1-2

6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

 

James 5:16

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

Don’t miss out on the second part of the equation like I did! This new way of life is far more peaceful.

  • Do you have accountability person or group?
  • How did it form?
  • Do you have any advice for someone who may be considering a more accountable lifestyle?  
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Ben Lippens

Police Officer | Advocate for Racial Reconciliation | Youth Worker | Husband & Father | Writer | Believer

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